Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Terra Battle First Impressions

It's not every day that I'd be so quick to jump on here and talk about a game for iOS but goddamn, Terra Battle is pretty fucking good.

The story goes that one day I was having trouble updating the apps on my phone.  While trying to work out the problem I took the the app store to see if I could still download stuff.  Terra Battle just happened to be at the top of the list so I hit download and it worked.  After fixing the problem I thought I should give the thing a go so I fired it up and the first words I see on my phone screen are "Mistwalker"

I was stunned, I had no idea Mistwalker had made a game for iPhones and what was even more stunning is that it was released (at time of writing) last Thursday.  For those that don't know Mistwalker is a company founded by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the guy who headed Final Fantasy back when it was good.  They came in strong with Lost Odyssey on the Xbox 360 and followed it up with The Last Story on Wii but after that I lost track of them.  Turns out they've been making games for iOS and Terra Battle is their latest release.

Terra Battle is kind of like every other RPG on iOS right now in the sense that you collect characters, put them in a team of 6 and then play some kind of puzzle game to fight monsters and level them up.  What I like about Terra Battle is that the puzzle involved isn't just something stupid like matching gems but it involves positioning units around a board to make attacks by flanking an enemy.  To add a little bit of extra strategy, units on the same row as an attacking unit can get a little extra hit in and all units come with skills that are activated by chaining attacks together.

The one thing I like about this game is that I'm not being bogged down in characters right from the get go.  One of the things I don't like about games like Puzzle and Dragon or Love Live is that you get so much shit and no "box" space to put it all in that a lot of the characters feel like junk.  In Terra Battle you are given small numbers of units and you have to carefully arrange a party together to effectively get through a level.

Right now the game is quite bare bones but this is by design as Sakaguchi has come up with this idea of "download starter".  Apparently he has stated that he likes the sense of community that comes around via something like Kickstarter but doesn't like the idea of fans directly financing the game.  Instead content is released based on download numbers.  Given that, as of right now, Terra Battle is the first game I see in the app store on my iPhone, I can see this game going pretty far.

Sakaguchi is a man who knows what he's doing when it comes to making games and making fans happy so give this game a go.  You have nothing to lose really except maybe an hour or two and the only complaint I have about the game thus far is the translation is a bit wonky.  Plus if you download and give it a go you're helping me get more content, so get downloading.

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